December 2022

PHILADELPHIA—The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers has published its 2022 Year in Review, outlining images, stories, videos, member messages, and news releases from an historic year. 

The year has been one of tireless advocacy and fighting for justice. Throughout the look back at the year, it is clearer than ever that our union is deeply committed to fighting for what is right. We have advocated around and drawn the connections between so many issues: ending the crisis of gun violence, fighting for a woman's right to make healthcare decisions, ending racism and bigotry in all forms, fighting for resources for students and advocating for the schools our students and members deserve, and so many more.

On the 2022 Year in Review, PFT President Jerry Jordan said the following:

"I am so proud of the work of this union this year and every year. Collectively, we have pushed forward amidst trying times, and we have never stopped in our pursuit of justice and equity. In the joy and in the sadness, our solidarity unites us, strengthens us, and moves us forward."

Meredith Elizalde Shares Poem in Honor of Son Nicolas at CeaseFirePA Vigil

On December 14th, PFT joined CeaseFirePA's vigil in honor of the tenth anniversary of the Sandy Hook mass shooting and in honor of the 15,000 lives of Pennsylvanians stolen by gun violence in the ten years since then. 

Speakers at the event included:

Roz Pichardo (CeaseFirePA)
Chante Love (EMIR Healing Center)
Dennis Carradin (The Trauma Survivors Foundation)
Meredith Elizalde (mother of Nicolas, and PFT member)
Rev. Tonya Waller-Waddy
Dr. Dorothy Johnson-Speight (Mothers In Charge)
Adam Garber (CeaseFirePA)
Michael Reed

At the vigil, Meredith Elizalde read a poem she authored in honor of her son Nicolas, "What Does the Green Bird See?" Meredith began by saying, "Dedicated to Nick Elizalde: The greatest honor of my life was to be your mother.  The second greatest honor of my life was to hold you as you died.  May we all be blessed to see the world and our role in it, as you did.  Rest in power."


November 23, 2022

In response to the shooting outside of Overbrook High School at dismissal today, PFT President Jerry Jordan issued the following statement:

PHILADELPHIA—"The ongoing scourge of gun violence continues to plague our city and our nation. I am enraged by the shooting outside of Overbrook High School this afternoon that injured four students and surely traumatized so many more students, staff, and community members.

Voting for democracy and a better life

In the leadup to the midterm elections, pundits predicted a red wave, even a tsunami, based on polls, historical precedent, and steep gas and grocery prices. But I had my doubts. I spent the weeks before the elections talking to voters and traveling on the AFT Votes bus, rolling through a dozen states with more than 50 stops. In a year when kitchen table issues, democracy and our freedoms were on the ballot, many people told me that the elections came down to a choice between, on the one side, election deniers and extremists stoking fear, and on the other, problem-solvers working to help the country move forward. Many races were close, but Americans turned the tide from a red wave to a swell of support for progress and problem-solvers. Read the full column here.